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Canadian hospital owner Medical Facilities Corporation says it lost $1.7 million in the first quarter, as higher operating expenses offset revenue growth of six percent. Toronto-based Medical Facilities, which also owns hospitals in the United States, said earnings were down by five cents per share. That compared with a profit of $1.6 million, or five cents per unit, in the first quarter of 2009.

Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 increased to $51.4 million from $48.2 million.

Operating expenses, including salaries and benefits, drugs and supplies, and general and administrative costs for the quarter totaled $34.5 million, or 67.3 percent of revenue. That was up from expenses of $29.6 million, or 61.3 percent of revenue, in the first quarter a year ago.

Medical Facilities owns controlling interests in four specialty surgical hospitals located in South Dakota and Oklahoma, as well as two ambulatory surgery centers in California.

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